It was 30 minutes before the fair opened Thursday, and already there was a long line of people waiting to get in for a sneak peek of the 90th Southwest Florida and Lee County Fair.
A persistant light rain put a bit of a damper on sneak peek, but it didn't stop people from finding ways to have a good time nonetheless.
Lissette Rivera, from Cape Coral, brought her family, and vowed to have fun despite the weather.
"I'm not happy about the rain. I brought the little ones. They're going to ride the rides no matter what," Rivera said adding her daughter, Kristen, said so.
And ride they did, as the lights sparkled on the midway
The rain also put a damper on the opening day efforts of Carol Weill, who helps run the Slush Works and pizza concession stand with her friends.
She wasn't too upset, though.
"You can't do anything about the weather, but the crowd is here. They do a nice job here," Weill said. "The weather for the weekend looks good. This is our first fair of the season. It's better than the snow."
For $12, fairgoers had a chance to ride the rides, eat elephant ears and take in the sights of a Lee County tradition since 1924.
Among the places they could keep dry was the Tinsley Pavilion, where people could gaze at the rabbits on display, which were checked in for Monday's competition.
Despite the weather, fair organizer Fran Crone was confident this night, and all the others, would be a success.
"We're expecting a good crowd. We've done a lot of advertising," Crone said. "It's been crazy, but it's also been exciting watching everything come together and build up like a small town."
There were a few small snags that had to be taken care of, but that was the reason for the dry run; to prepare for when the real crowds come.
That will come Friday, starting at 4:30 p.m. with the opening ceremony, followed by free rides and admission from 5 to 6 p.m.
The fair, which continues at the Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers through March 9, will open at noon on weekends, and at 5 p.m. during the week, with the exception of Wednesday, which will be at 2 p.m. for Senior Day, with reduced admission for seniors and vets.
Moonlight Madness will be offered both today and March 7 from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Regular admission until 9 p.m.; $25 ride wristbands beginning at 9 p.m.